GUYS. I NOW HAVE OVER 3,000 FOLLOWERS.
AHHHH HELP I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? WHAT EVEN- Okay, breathe, Allison. Caaaalm yourself.
Ahem. I’m good now.
I honestly don’t know where to start… I guess with the obvious: THANK YOU! You guys make my day so many days with your sweet comments and hilarious chats in the comment section, and I love reading and commenting on your lovely posts too. ♥
I’m really, really glad I started blogging. For me, blogging isn’t a frustrating, stressful chore – it’s something I love to do! So much so, in fact, that I usually don’t have trouble thinking of things to post or posting often enough – the harder thing is not letting blogging take over my life. XD
My favorite part about blogging is, by far, the people. I love chatting with and getting to know you guys through comments, long emails and even longer handwritten letters (my record is 17 pages XD). I have met so many incredible people in these 3+ years that I am proud to call my friends (truly they are, even if I’ve never met them in real life): Charis, Aria, Clara, K. A., Sassafras, Enni, Josie… I could go on and on, but I won’t overwhelm you with links. XD AHH I keep thinking of more people! Anyway, you know who you are: ♥♥♥.
The point is, I’ve absolutely loved blogging so far, and I have you guys to thank for that. ♥ SO THANK YOU. AGAIN.
Alright, now that we’re past the sentimental stuff, let’s get to the other part of the post. 🙂 You may have noticed that the title said something about a Part 1. That’s because…
I’M DOING A GIVEAWAY!
AND A BIG ONE TOO. I’m sooo excited for it and I think you guys will be too, but since it’s going to take quite a while to get the post up and I still haven’t gotten one of the things I ordered, I’m going to do the giveaway post next. In the meantime, I’ll post some hopefully helpful blogging tips and tricks I picked up from my approximately three years of blogging. Yeah, I know, I’m an expert, a veritable blogging veteran.
You know I’m being sarcastic, right?
Nope, I’m not a professional blogger and I’m definitely not a famous one or anything, but I guess if you 3,000 of guys liked my blog enough to click follow, I’ve got to be doing something right. Hmm, now to figure out what it is… XD But seriously, what is my trick? I don’t really have one over-arching Blogging Truth actually, except maybe that I try to write posts I would love to read, but maybe these 15 little bits of advice will help. I dunno, let’s give it a try.
- Running out of space for your pictures? THIS IS A BLOG-SAVER. If your WordPress media space is running out (or already has) when you try to upload your pictures, never fear, my dears! I have come to rescue you. 😛 Simply start a random new blog (like blogtouploadpics.wordpress.com or something), and upload your photos to there. Publish the post, and then just copy and paste the photos from the random blog into the actual post you’re working on. That’s what I’ve been doing for quite a while now and it really works! It’s a little more time consuming than normal, but honestly I don’t think about it much anymore. Also, it’s a good idea to resize your photos before putting them on any blog. They upload much faster and take up a ton less space.
- Benefit your readers. Your goal is to leave the reader with something more than they came with – it can be practical knowledge, inspiration, or even a smile on their face, but make it something. You have to earn your reader’s patronage, so to speak. Write posts that you want to read, and most likely, your readers will like them too! Another part of this point is posting long enough posts. If you post, like, one picture (like I used to, *cringe*), it’s hardly worth the time for you or your reader.
- Use proper spelling and grammar. This is so important that you’ve probably already heard it about a million times and wonder why I even bother. But seriously, if a blog post goes like this: “hi guys so here i am again sorry for not posting in so long i don’t know what to post lol srsly tho i need ideas anyway i just came back from a exiting day of school yea lol it was great (not) ok bye,” it is VERY unlikely that I’ll follow it, unless the content is superb. But honestly, if the writing is like that, chances are, their content isn’t going to be that great either. See, using proper spelling and grammar shows that you put time and effort into your blog posts, and readers appreciate that. Bad grammar is like having messy hair and wearing sloppy clothes – it just doesn’t make a good impression.
- Your blog design is important. We’ve all heard not to judge a book by its cover, but we do anyway, right? Same with blogs. If you have an ugly background or a cluttered theme, it distracts readers from your post and really just lowers your blog-quality in general. Besides, it’s much more fun to own a clean, pretty website on which to show off your posts. You can use PicMonkey.com, Canva.com, or other online graphic design websites to create headers, buttons, etc. If you’re not into design, there are plenty of bloggers who would be happy to help (like my sister Megan)! This is something I still need to work on. What do you think, should I update my blog design? I think that might be a good idea…
- Skip the apology posts. I know you feel bad for not posting, and that’s definitely understandable, but you really don’t have to do a whole post about how you’re such a bad blogger and then end up by saying you still don’t know what to post. Readers don’t want to read a whole post of “I’m sorry,” they want you to just go ahead and post some good content! Also, here’s a secret: most of the time no one notices your absence, especially if they already follow, like, a hundred other blogs. As hard as it might seem, the blogosphere will survive just fine for a few days, weeks, or months, without you (or me). *Gasp*
- You don’t have to have a schedule. This kind of ties into the last point. You don’t have to force yourself to post, say, three times a week, especially if you don’t have anything to post. If you don’t have anything to post, don’t post! (And see tip #10.) Unless you’re a professional blogger who blogs as a job, you don’t have to have a blog schedule. Now true, it’s good to post regularly. Readers likely will lose interest if you post for two days in a row, then next month, then once a week for three weeks, then a year from then… yeah, try to keep your posting pretty consistent, but don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t get around to posting as soon as you’d hoped.
- Thou shall not steal. Plagiarism is a pretty big no-no with bloggers. Do not take content from another blog without asking them first, and even then, be sure to add a link back to the original author. Especially don’t take pictures or writing from someone else and then pass it off as your own work. It’s fine to use pictures from free photo websites like unsplash.com without linking back, but I like to add a link anyway on the rare occasions I use them, just so people know I didn’t take those amazingly perfect pictures myself. XD
- Use lots of photos. Photos are great attention-grabbers. Readers are much more likely to just skim the post if it’s all a huge chunk of writing with no photos in sight to give their eyes a break from all the words. Besides, photos also add beauty and originality to your blog and make wonderful posts on their own. After all, you have the opportunity to take pictures that no one else can! And here’s another little secret: photography posts are probably my favorite kind to read. :D
- Format your writing. This goes along with the last point. Headings and paragraphs break your writing into manageable chunks that are just more pleasing to a reader’s eye. If you don’t, people are more likely to think, “Wow, I still have to read all that?” and to just skim through. Make use of (but don’t overuse) the Enter key, and use different font sizes, bolding, or italics to separate your writing into slightly more bite-sized pieces rather than an enormous mouthful.
- Don’t beg for followers. Guys, this is honestly a pet peeve of mine. XD Please, please do not beg people to follow your blog. It’s not very considerate of the other person because it’s really hard for them to say no without sounding rude, even if they’d rather not follow your blog. Besides, you might end up with a whole bunch of followers, but none who really like your posts, so what’s the use? I’m not saying you’re a bad person if you do this – in fact, I’ve found at least one of my favorite blogs/bloggers this way – but in general it’s just better blogging etiquette to ask people if they could check out your blog rather than demanding they follow it.
- Make worthwhile posts. Good content is (obviously) the most important thing for your blog. But what does “good content” mean? Unfortunately, I can’t say, because it differs with each reader’s preference. BUT, I think it involves keeping tags, challenges, interviews, and other kinds of abstract posts to a minimum, while focusing on actual, concrete content, like photography, DIY, writing, practical advice, lifestyle, etc. Basically, try to keep your posts original. Tags can be fun to read, but if that’s all you post, they get old really fast. Plus, anyone and everyone can (and does) post tags. Be unique! Post something that not everyone can – post about crafts you’ve made, photos you’ve taken, recipes you love, even your life.
- Don’t know what to post? Look through your recent pictures (this almost always helps me). Post some of your recent writing. Check your stats to see what your most popular posts are, and make more of those. Look at your favorite blogs for inspiration. But if you still don’t know what to post, don’t post. It’s better to post a little less often than to post poor quality posts about nothing.
- Format your links. Okay, this is a very minor point, but it rather annoys me. XD When you add a link, check the “Open link in a new window/tab” box. That way when you click on it, it will open a new tab on your computer and you can still see the post you’re reading on your previous tab. So you don’t have to click the back arrow multiple times to get back to the post you were on. I know, such a hardship. XD
- Want more blog traffic? One of the main ways to do this is to comment on other people’s blogs. But be sincere. Please don’t comment just for the purpose of getting the person to check out your blog. If all you provide in a comment is a link to your blog, I’ll most likely delete it. There are so many wonderful people to “meet” out there. Go find someone who loves the same things you do, and chances are, they’ll be interested in your blog too! Also, blog buttons act like mini advertisements for your blog, which is a great way to spread yourself around. Visit my buttons page for more details.
- Have fun. This is important. Have fun with your blog and be yourself! Don’t feel like you have to follow a certain formula or blog calendar to be a good blogger. If you have fun writing your posts and let that authentic joy shine through your writing, readers will appreciate that. In fact, maybe that’s my secret. Maybe you guys enjoy my blog (or at least seem to) because I so enjoy writing it. Whatever the reason, I’m so grateful you do read my blog. I couldn’t do it without you. ♥
So there you have it. Fifteen hopefully helpful tips on how to improve your blog, along with some chrysanthemum pictures I took recently. 🙂
And that’s it for today, folks! Thanks for reading (and following)! Did you enjoy this post? Did you find my tips helpful? What are YOUR tips for blogging? Also, are you looking forward to my giveaway? I’M SO EXCITED.